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Air Commodore P A Kennedy (122141)

Patrick Ascension                     b: 15 May 1917           r: 15 Dec 1967            d: 2 May 2010

DSO 5 Nov 1946, DFC 17 Apr 1945, AFC 1 Jan 1953.

(Army): Rlf: xx Feb 1938,

(RAF): Plt Off: 7 Mar 1942, Fg Off (WS): 1 Oct 1942, Flt Lt (WS): 7 Mar 1944, Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx 1945?, Flt Lt: 2 Jul 1946 [adjusted to 7 Sep 1945 on 28 Feb 1947], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1950, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1956, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1961, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1967.

xx Feb 1938:              Rifleman, 2nd Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles

xx Jan 1941:                U/T Pilot, Camden Field, South Carolina/Cochrane Field, Georgia/Craig Field, Alabama (657393)

xx xxx 1942:                Attended No 56 OTU.

xx Dec 1942:               Pilot, No 123 Sqn (Hurricanes Iraq/India)

xx Mar 1944:               Flight Commander, No 4 Sqn, Royal Indian Air Force

13 Jan 1945:                Officer Commanding, No 224 Group Communication Sqn.

xx Jul 1945:                 Officer Commanding, No 81 Sqn. (Thunderbolt II)

 1 Jul 1946:                  Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 7 Sep 1945]

xx Jun 1947:                Attended the Empire Central Flying School

xx xxx 1947:                Instructor, Night Fighter Leaders' School, Central Fighter Establishment.

xx xxx xxxx:                 Instructor, Day Fighter Leaders' School, Central Fighter Establishment.

xx Jul 1950:                 Officer Commanding, No 6 Sqn. (Vampire FB5)

xx Jan 1953:                Attended RAF Staff College

xx xxx 1955:                Staff Officer, Air Ministry

xx Aug 1958:               Officer Commanding, No 31 Sqn. (Canberra PR7)

29 Jul 1960:                 Staff Officer, Directorate of Joint Plans.

 7 Aug 1961:                Deputy Director of Joint Plans.

29 Jul 1963:

17 Jun 1964:                Officer Commanding, RAF Marham.

xx xxx 1967:                Attended Vulcan conversion course, No 230 OCU

xx xxx 1967:                Staff Officer, HQ No 1 Group

Born in County Tipperary on Ascension Day and educated at Newbridge College near Dublin, he joined the Army in 1938.  Sailing to France in October 1939 he took part in fighting in Belgium before retreating to Dunkirk, where he and some others found a rowing boat and rowed out to a destroyer which returned them to the UK.  Stuck on guard duties in the UK, he became restless and applied for a transfer to the RAF.  Following training in Canada he was posted to No 123 Squadron in Iraq and later Persia and Egypt.

He moved to India in October 1943 and joined No 4 Squadron RIAF as a flight commander six months later.  He served with the unit throughout the Burma campaign until the squadron was rested in March 1945.  Taking command of No 81 Squadron shortly afterwards he took part in operations in Java as part of No 904 Wing, assisting in the location and repatriation of PoWs from the area.

He was station commander at Marham during the period which saw all RAF Valiants grounded and scrapped following the discovery of metal fatigue in their wings.  At the end of his tour at Marham he was promoted to Air Commodore, but decided to take voluntary retirement and joined BAC to work on an air defence project in Libya on behalf of King Idris.  However, in 1969 a military coup took place and despite being confined to his hotel room he managed to make his way to the airport and acquire passage on an aircraft bound for the UK.  He later worked for BAC at Stevenage and later Warton before retiring to the Lake District, where he and his wife ran a country hotel.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

"KENNEDY, Patrick Ascension, A/S/L (122141, RAFVR) - No.4 Squadron, Royal Indian Air Force

This officer has completed many reconnaissance sorties over hazardous country often in adverse weather.  He has obtained much valuable information of Japanese troop concentrations and movements and has led formations of aircraft in attacks against enemy positions in support of our ground troops.  On several occasions he effectively bombed enemy positions within 300 yards of our own troops.  During two sorties his aircraft sustained severe damage.  Undeterred, by cool and careful airmanship, Flight Lieutenant [sic] Kennedy succeeded in landing his damaged aircraft safely at base.  His devotion to duty at all times has been most commendable"

(Source: Air Ministry Bulletin 18375)

This page was last updated on 31/01/23

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